Dancing On My Own

Best read with Sweden’s Dance Hall Queen Robyn’s Dancing on My Own

I have been busy as a bee these past few weeks. Presenting findings at my University’s current research symposium, finishing off my first conference paper. This one is seriously competitive, pushing the max 15 page limit and in Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science template. My advisor is currently reviewing my ‘final’ draft, and it is almost certain that we will meet the extended deadline this upcoming Saturday.

Against all odds, I learned how to make IPE work in my Ubuntu setting. It was a time consuming and highly irretating task to achieve. Basically I had to use pdftoipe, shitmix cat and sed commands to make ipetoipe to work properly. But now my MATLAB figures are in satisfying LaTeX style.

Unfortunately my Teaching in Higher Education class got the short straw at work. But somehow I managed to look I had prepared for class. I seriously need to make time for that subject, despite lack of motivation to do so. Apparantly I am supposed to have turned in a ‘Reading Diary’ on the articles relating to teaching for each and every class. I have not started. Oh well, I’ll manage to whip that out some time in the near future.

I did however manage to send off my DAAD grant application to Bonn, Germany in the nick of time. In all of the commotion I forgot to send a proper timeline of how I intend to spend my time in Germany. I have some continuance to supply that. Looks promising for my potential summer on stipend.

I am also starting to teach two boys (one in college and one in university) calculus once a week. Surprisingly, I find the problem set for my college kid more complex than those of my university student. I was contemplating about pointing out which university is responsible, but I am not going to do that. That would be over-generalizing and in beneath me.

So this is the quick recap of what I have been up to in my academic life. In my off-campus life, I have been dealing with the autumn’s sickness and staying in watching familiar movies I can easily sleep through without having to feel I was missing out on the good/bad scenes. I have also been experimenting in sewing. Made a kind of lounge wear in dark gray jersey and summer caftan/jacket out of a thin shawl my mom got me from Kenya, few years ago. Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to a hot summer abroad in 2011. Will post photos online soonish.

Iceland Airwaves dates

In all of this insane workload I managed to convince my beautiful Bernie (depicted above) to accompany me to Iceland Airwaves this year. We only managed to go 4 out of the 5 days in question. Listening to good music, queuing in the rain and spotting out pretty foreign band members in the crowd can be very tiresome. After much pre-preparation (see my oh-so-pretty google doc) the bands we wound up seeing were (in chronological order; links represent corresponding albums of interest; and bold faced implying favorites):

  1. First day of Airwaves included: Film (GR), Lára Rúnars, Sykur, Ólafur Arnalds, Ourlives, Autodrone (US) and Cliff Clavin
  2. Second day of Airwaves included: Hundreds (DE), Amiina, Efterklang (DK), Le Corps Mince De Francoise (FI), Oh No Ono (DK) and Moderat (DE)
  3. Third day of Airwaves included: Chateau Marmont (FR), Berndsen, Bloodgroup, Hjálmar, Hjaltalín, Think About Life (CA), Alex Metric (UK) and lot of drinking
  4. Fourth day of Airwaves included: Selection of the musical Lion King (Icelandic version) whilst waiting in the hour-long queue in the rain to enter Listahúsið, Tunng (UK), Bombay Bicycle Club (UK) and Robyn (SE)
  5. Fifth day of Airwaves included: Emptyset.

There were some bands that exceeded their expectations, especially Tunng and BBC. Tunng were way more happy-go-lucky on stage; very vibrant. BBC lost their sweet country style á la Fleet Foxes and were more hard-core á la Muse. Robyn of course was insane on stage (and well worth the queue). I can’t believe the stamina of that woman. She was on full throttle throughout the entire set, which I am fairly sure was longer than most! So much fun, and a perfect way to finish off the festival! Hence, Saturday night at Listahúsið was the crème de la crème of Airwaves this year, without a doubt.

Oh, and lest we forget! Bloodgroup’s cover of Men Without Hats’ Safety Dance blew my mind! Having a borderline sick obsession of cover songs, and especially from the 80s, I was extremely happy at that point. In my humble opinion, they are the winners of the most entertaining track of Airwaves.

There were of course some bands that did not deliver the goods, and not worth naming. Except for Alex Metric. I am very disappointed how that turned out live. His remixes are still in my good graces though.

Of the smaller bands, I found LCMDF very promising. I need to dig deeper online to find some stuff of theirs on mp3-form. The lead singer’s voice has an uncanny similarity to Soko [not Sokute]. TAL were also noteworthy, will bookmark them in uppáhalds og líðandi stundar (e. favorites and current events) playlist. I always did have a soft spot for funk/soul brothers. Maybe this is due to my brother’s infinite wisdom of “Blacks — just like silk”.

To finish this post, I’ll to a short recap of the people we met during Airwaves. There was the poker-playing Colin from Montréal that hadn’t had a proper job since we won an insane amount a few years back. Now he just slacks off and follows his to e.g. Iceland for music festivals. Pourqoui pas? There was also Pondus from Göteborg, that I am starting to think is a false name since my good friend Google (who would never lie) defined him as:

Pondus is a comic strip created by the Norwegian cartoonist Frode Øverli. Since its start in 1995, it has become one of the most successful comic strips in Scandinavia.

Maybe my Pondus is the real-life inspiration for the comic strip. At least that is how I intend to remember him.

Last but not least, I regret to declare that I lost my wager to Bernie, that basically consisted of snogging at least 20 (male or female) during Airwaves. In order to reduce my penalty, I would like to point out that I got rewarded 7 (undefined) points for finding a festival ticket for a friend, and only used 2 of those points as beer tokens, resulting in 5 as kissing points. Also, hoping the judge will be very broad minded and willing to pass simple kissing on the cheeks as a form of light-snogging I only lost by 8 points (but if Birna is not eligible herself I lost by 13 points). I have apparently lost my mo-jo. Oh well, c’est la vie!

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About tungufoss

a PhD student that sews whilst her code compiles...

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